Darx Circle Really Awfully Delayed


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To watch an acorn germinate
Far more excitement would create
Than waiting for Darx Circle to appear;
The fates, though, have dictated that
Time and again it’s been dropped flat,
For it has been a Really Awful Year.

But things are on the move again,
Beyond the struggles, pain and strain,
For which I have unarguable proof:
With readers now proof copies rest,
And if it passes every test,
It will appear, and that’s the simple troof!

One wonders if some authors lose
The thrill that comes to each one whose
First copy of the latest comes to hand?
For those who don’t ‘dip pen in ink’
To write a novel, I would think
This may be hard for you to understand.

Darx Circle Proof Top View

Darx Circle Proof front

© Colonialist May 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Books, Children's Fiction, Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., Fantasy, Personal Journal, Really Awful Rhyme, Writing, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

Glyph, Ellipsis, Brackets and Square Bracket Rules


A nice uncluttered workstation for an editor?

A nice uncluttered workstation for an editor?

The following is a guide I formulated to keep my own thinking straight. 

  • A glyph is a symbol used for a meaning not complete in itself.

An ellipsis is a sign or glyph such as [‘ … ’] used in printed text indicating:

1:         The omission of one or more words that are understood in the context, but that would need to be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete;

2:         A sudden leap from one topic to another;

3:         That words have been left out;

4:         Particularly in informal writing, a pause in dialogue or narrative, or a character or narrator trailing off.

SPECIFIC ELLIPSES, BRACKETS AND SQUARE BRACKETS RULES WITH A DASH OF DASHES

These are the rules which I have drawn up as making sense to me, and which I apply as far as possible:

  1. Use the ellipsis glyph rather than three dots to avoid having it split at the end of a line (Word does overcome this, but some programmes may not).
  2. The default should be a space before and a space after … thus. I consider this preferable to the frequently used system of having no space… after the preceding word, regardless of whether that word is complete or not.
  3. For incomplete words, no space tailing off or leading in. ‘Exa…’ ‘…mple.’
  4. Never leave a space between the ellipse glyph and preceding or following punctuation: …! (Except in this case on the preceding : !)
    “This shows …’    ‘… how it should be done.’         and
    ‘This shows … ’  ‘ … how it shouldn’t.’
  5. Use dashes rather than ellipses to indicate – briefly – shorter breaks or insertions.
  6. An insertion completely breaking the flow (this flow is broken here with a wording which would be disjointed if one replaced the brackets with commas) is better with brackets.
  7. Sections left out should be indicated with square brackets enclosing the ellipsis glyph […]. There is a trend to leave the square brackets out. This trend needs to be reversed.
  8. Editorial insertions should have square brackets. [Better to distinguish them thus!]
  9. To indicate a longer break use dots evenly separated by spaces . . . like this. Beware of this running beyond the end of a line.
  10. Be consistent in using a full stop after ellipses, where applicable, or not doing so. Purists insist on four dots if a new sentence begins beyond the ellipsis, the last one to show the sentence has ended even if incomplete. My personal feeling, which I apply in writing and encourage when editing, is that a tailing off sentence never does end, and that the ellipsis glyph replaces the full stop.
  11. However, if the ellipsis ends an incomplete quote, but appears at a place where the sentence within the quote ended, ‘then the fourth point is appropriate ….’ but is clearer if separated by a space, which logically should appear thus. …’
© Colonialist May 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Grammar, Language, writing | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Really Awfully Enveloped in the Photo Challenge.


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IM000394.JPG

Enveloped by its wings, the bat
Wonders what on earth you’re at:
Thinks you must be quite a clown
To be living upside-down.

 Snail

Enveloped in this handy shell
For protection does quite well –
Though does stick out quite a lot,
For its slimy trail to plot.

Greenery blocking scenery.

Enveloped thus in greenery
This road loses scenery,
Maybe, that, it will transcend
When it sends us round the bend. 

© Colonialist May 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Challenge, Humorous rhyme, Photography, Really Awful Rhyme, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

More Merry Midlands Meandering


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This will be pictorially, with a minimum of picked-orally. First, a further shot of the Mandela silhouette, this time showing a wider angle to include the countryside and the Inhlosane peak not far from which is Old Camp, where I mentioned we lived for two years after Elder Daughter and fambly emigrated to UK and left it in our care:

Mandela Sculpture showing Inhlosane Peak

Now come some shots of Old Camp as it is nowadays:

The road where we lived ...

The road where we lived …

Old Camp as now is.

Old Camp as now is.

Inhlosane tip from Old Camp

Inhlosane tip seen from Old Camp

Road down to the waterfall from Old Camp.

Road down to the waterfall from Old Camp.

Now we have a couple of other shots from the weekend wanderings:

Our base at Lidgetton for the weekend.  Solid breakfasts!

Our base at Lidgetton for the weekend. Solid breakfasts!

A Craft-y af -Fair in Howick.

A Craft-y af -Fair in Howick.

More some other time!

© Colonialist May 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., Personal Journal, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

A Shortish Walk to Lots of Spikes


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Something we have flitted past at speed on numerous occasions is the display near the Nelson Mandela Capture Site near Lions River.  We had seen the actual site, and the commemorative plaque, several times a week when we lived in the area – two amazing years from which my diary will form the basis of a book as soon as we are happy we won’t be sued for relating some of the doings and … whatnot … of the hilariously picturesque locals.

Lore from some of said locals has it that Nelson was incarcerated overnight in the cell forming part of The Old Police Camp we lived in during that period – Long Walk to Freedom and other accounts of the event make no mention of the fact, but the anecdotes were emphatic, so who knows?

However, the sculpture and stuff are relatively new developments.  Seeing them in passing has not, hitherto, tempted us.  I wondered what a mammoth set of spikes was in aid of, but in a vague sort of way.

This time we came, we saw, and we wandered.  They are building some sort of shopping-mall-sized construction as a centre for seminars and stuff, which one hopes will be impressive when completed but at the moment makes it all look a bit messy.  However, the actual displays and posters inside the existing hall are worth seeing, and there is a restaurant with pool and jungle gym at the far end.  Hordes were at the monument and display area, but surprisingly few at the restaurant, which was their loss because the food and wines were very good and the prices minimal.

After lunching we strolled past the construction site and found ourselves on a long straight path leading back towards the road between Midmar Dam and Lions River.  Other tourists blocked our views a lot, but I faithfully took a picture of the spikes from one side, with the plaque (over the road) visible on the right-hand side,

 Monument Mandela from side

and then of Much Better Half taking a picture of the actual monument from the base of them.

Mandela SculptureEventually the hordes went away, and I took another picture back at the spikes –which from the right angle and distance give an amazingly impressive profile.  There is, of course, a great deal written about this attraction, but I hadn’t come across it so the sight came as a wonderful surprise.

Mandela sculpture showing face

© Colonialist May 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Art, Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., History, Personal Journal, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

Merrily Meandering in Midlands


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Our weekend away was a much-enjoyed break.  It is relaxing to dash hither and yon in search of sights and sites and to get some fresh air.  The air was fresh, indeed.  compared with our still-shirtsleeves-in-the-evening coastal conditions.  It made for waking up far more thoroughly than I do at home, when I took my morning plunge in the B & B swimming pool.  Our host, huddled in a parka, looked at me strangely for some reason.

We returned home to find that we were about to receive another switch-off – or not receive electricity.  Our ever-increasing collection of solar-charged-battery-powered lights came into service again and lights have only been restored at an hour which is past my bedtime. 

I shall now pop in a pair of pleasant preliminary pictures picked out as a preview to pique your interest in a further pleasurable presentation.  These are taken from near the B & B entrance. 

Midlands - view over pondView from Penny Lane B & B

© Colonialist May 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., Nature, Personal Journal, Photography | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Forces of Nature – machine-gunned from above.


In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Forces of Nature.”

To me, nothing illustrates forces of nature better than storms – storm tides, thunderstorms, hurricanes or tornadoes, or – as here – hailstorms.  I was amazed, after viewing this picture, to see how high those golf-ball-sized chunks of ice could ricochet. It rarely hails in this part of the world, but on this occasion it made a thorough job of it.

Hailstorm

This blog will go silent over the weekend.  For the first time in many years, Much Better Half and I will be taking a break on our own.  Courtesy of Younger Daughter, we will be spending Saturday and Sunday night in our beloved KwaZulu Natal Midlands.  It is hoped than many pictures will come out of the excursion!

© Colonialist May 2015 (WordPress)
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